Showing posts from November, 2010

as if being 12 3/4 isn't bad enough, my mother is running for president! by Donna Gephart, 227 pp, RL: Middle Grade

Donna Gephart's debut novel for young readers,  as if being 12 3/4 isn't bad enough, my mother is running for president , winner of the 2009 Sid Fleishman Humor Award which is presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators , caught my eye the minute it hit the shelves.  Photos of  kids, especially where you can see their whole face, are rare in the world of kid's books these days, even books set squarely in the realm of realistic fiction.  Also, the girl on the cover has an understated look of annoyance, mistrust and an "are you kidding me?" expression that really clicked for me.  And main character Vanessa Rothrock has all that and more.  Not only is she smart - as a participant in the local and then regional spelling bee, Vanessa is a habitual speller of words which makes for some spectacular vocabulary in this book - but she is funny.  All kinds of funny - self-deprecating, dopey, unintentionally.  The one kind of funny she is n

Welcome to Donna Gephart Week at!!!

One of the great perks of writing this blog is being contacted by authors asking me to consider reading and reviewing their books.  Even better when the author contacting me has written a book or two that I have already noticed on the shelves of the bookstore where I work.  That was the case when I got an email from Donna Gephart a few months ago.  Her first book, which has the same cover in hardback and paperback, as if being 12 3/4 isn't bad enough, my mother is running for president! , caught my eye right away.  Not only does it have the rare appearance of an actual human being's face on the cover (and that model is the PERFECT fit for main character Vanessa) but it was released in February of 2008, a month after the Iowa Caucuses and eight months before the presidential election.  The timing was perfect!  And, the appearance of a young readers book with any kind of politics as part of the plot, any time of year, is rare.   Gephart's first book lived up to and beyond m

Movie Maker: Everything You Need to Know to Create Films on Your Cell Phone or Digital Camera!

Another home run hit from Candlewick Press ,  Movie Maker:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Films on Your Cell Phone or Digital Camera!   by Suridh Hassan, Tim Grabham, Clare Richards, Dan Reeve and illustrated by Garry Parsons definitely lives up to it's name. And what a better time to publish a book/kit like this! I'm sure there is a busload of little auteurs out there just waiting to yell "Cut!" This kit really does come with everything, just like it says, and all of it fits nicely into the clapboard box, which you can use in your directorial debut.  Four tab folders hold the things you will need for Premiere Night (tickets, awards and other punch-out goodies for a festive event), Sound Studio (a CD with 99 sound effects), Animation Studio and Props & Special Effects (more punch-out things.)  The interior of the folder is also printed with text telling the movie maker how to use the contents.  There is also a StoryBoard Book, not pictured

Vintage Books from Your Shelves!

Thanks to those of you who left comments on my post Vintage Kid's Books From My Shelves !  It has been such a treat and delight to be reminded of forgotten old books and introduced to wonderful new books by you!  As more comments roll in I will add cover images to this post.  Here are books from your shelves... Reader nopinkinhere remembers Molly's Moe written and illustrated by Kay Choraro - out of print. Molly loses her toy dino named Moe and finds all sorts of things in the process of searching for him. Two similar books that came to mind for me, the first in print, the second not, are:   I LOST MY BEAR by Jules Feiffer.  Very funny and true, but the illustrations aren't as gentle and sweet as Choraro's.   The Something written and illustrated by Natalie Babbitt is the story of a little creature who is having bad dreams.  His mother buys him some clay so he can make an image of the scary thing from his dreams.  Turns out he is dreaming about a little girls

Vintage Kids' Books from My Shelves

Reading Burgin Streetman's blog, Vintage Kids' Books My Kid Loves inspired me to go through the books from my childhood that made it into adulthood with me AND survived my kids, as well as a few gems from my husband's childhood.  I would LOVE IT if anyone else wants to share favorite titles from their childhoods that can qualify as vintage (over 20 years old - in print or out of print.)  If I get enough responses, I promise to do the legwork to find cover images and create a post featuring them - all you need to send me is the title and the author, if you know it. (Apologies for the horrible formatting in this post. These were some difficult images to work with...) Anita Lobel , children's book author, illustrator and wife of Arnold Lobel, with whom she collaborated on the Caldecott winning On Market Street,  wrote one of my all time favorites,  Under a Mushroom . A family of four trolls lives under a very cozy mushroom that quickly becomes cramped and unco